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Nemanja Vidic could return on Saturday versus Sunderland

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Nemanja Vidic is set for a return soon and it could possibly occur this Saturday versus Sunderland.

Jamie McDonald

It sounds as if Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is set to return from his latest knee injury and it could occur on Saturday versus Sunderland according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson:

"To put him in at [Manchester] City for his first game back would be crazy but I think the Sunderland game definitely. It's a big bonus. In the last 18 months he has only had 10 games or something - it is not many games that he has had. He is a battler, a real competitor. That uncompromising way of his - he likes defending, that's what it is. Absolutely, he gives us the options."

- Ferguson | Source: ManUtd.com

Vidic had returned to full-training prior to the derby and there was even some suggestion from the gaffer that the defender could return for last week's midweek tie against CFR Cluj. That UEFA Champions League fixture apparently came just a bit too soon and Ferguson reasonably didn't want to throw his skipper into the fire at the Etihad. Sunday versus City was easily the biggest match thus far this season for United.

There are no midweek fixtures this for this week nor is there one next week. Saturday is a Premier League game versus Sunderland at Old Trafford and the following weekend is a trip to Wales for a league clash with Swansea City. Soon after that though, the fixture list heats up for the holiday season and Ferguson will certainly make nearly full use of his available squad then.

Jonny Evans could be a doubt this weekend after he hobbled off versus City with a hamstring issue. There likely will be more clarification on his injury tomorrow during Fergie's weekely press conference (or there could be lies like at last week's presser). Vidic will be presumably be competing against Chris Smalling -- who has been tremendous since his own recent return from injury -- for a spot in the lineup alongside Rio Ferdinand. The latter, though, could possibly be given a rest this weekend.